New phone number:

PA Issue Watch: Syria

PA Issue Watch:  Syria

Peace Action Wisconsin calls for an end to the flood of weapons being funneled into Syria, opposes U.S. military intervention, and calls for a meaningful and objectively moderated dialogue between Syrian government and opposition forces.

Have an article you suggest posting here?  Send the link to


5/14/13:  American Doctors Reach Out To Syria

The civil war in Syria feels far away for many Americans. But it hits close to home for one Chicago doctor and has pulled him, and many of his colleagues, to the front lines.

5/13/13:  Video Of Syrian Rebel Eating Soldier’s Heart Goes Viral, Condemned By Human Rights Watch

Human Rights Watch has said that the extremely graphic video is further proof that Syria is descending into sectarian violence. WARNING: Graphic content.

5/9/13:  Free Syrian Army rebels defect to Islamist group Jabhat al-Nusra

Syria‘s main armed opposition group, the Free Syrian Army (FSA), is losing fighters and capabilities to Jabhat al-Nusra, an Islamist organisation with links to al-Qaida that is emerging as the best-equipped, financed and motivated force fighting Bashar al-Assad‘s regime.

5/8/13:  As Syria Diplomacy Gains, Kerry to Announce More Aid

The additional aid, according to a State Department statement, would bring the American total to about $510 million.

5/6/13:  Syria crisis: UN’s Del Ponte says evidence rebels ‘used sarin’   Carla Del Ponte told Swiss TV that there were “strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof”.

5/2/13:  Little international support for arming Syria rebels  Growing evidence that the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad may have used chemical weapons against its own people has led to a crescendo of demands for the US to intervene in the Syrian civil war. But neither the American people, nor Europeans, nor Syria’s neighbours wholeheartedly support such a move.

5/2/13:  Syria chemical weapons evidence ‘too degraded’ for proof  British defence secretary Philip Hammond fears West can no longer prove chemical weapons attacks because blood and soil samples ‘degrade over time.’

4/25/13:  Iraq II?   White House Not 100% Sure on Use of Chem­i­cal Weapons in Syria  “Given our own his­tory with intel­li­gence assess­ments, includ­ing intel­li­gence assess­ments related to weapons of mass destruc­tion, it’s very impor­tant that we are able to estab­lish this with cer­tainty and that we are able to present infor­ma­tion in a way that is airtight.”

4/25/13:  Chuck Hagel says Syria used chemical weapons on ‘small scale’  US: ‘some degree of varying confidence’ of Sarin use

4/24/13:  Israel says Syria used chemical weapons; Russia warns of ‘Iraqi scenario’  Are Syrian forces using chemical weapons in their years-long fight to hold on to power?

4/11/13:  Syria and North Korea dominate G8 meeting  Syrian opposition leaders renew appeals for lethal aid as foreign ministers of Group of Eight nations meet in London.

4/11/13:  Syria activists reject Qaeda call for Islamic state  Syrian activists on Thursday dismissed as “blatant interference” a weekend call by Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri for an Islamic state to be established in the strife-torn country.

4/10/13:  Syria crisis: Al-Nusra pledges allegiance to al-Qaeda  The leader of the al-Nusra Front, a jihadist group fighting in Syria, has pledged allegiance to the leader of al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri.

4/10/13:  Syria air strikes ‘target civilians’  Rights group says more than 4,300 civilians killed in government strikes since July, and calls the raids war crimes.

4/9/13:  Good news: AQ in Iraq merges with Syrian jihadists  Given the disorganization and weakness of the civilian opposition group, it is virtually guaranteed that the chaos in any post-Assad Syria will favor those who are most ruthless and have the most guns.

4/9/13:  ‘It’s Not Normal’: Syrian War Transforms Lives  “The most important thing is, he will change from a soldier to civil police uniform,” she said as the rebels shed their camouflage and donned the new uniforms

UN agency ‘broke’ as Syria refugee funds run out  A UN agency has said it will soon be unable to provide “life-saving” aid to Syrian refugees in Jordan and other countries due to funds running out.

Syrian rebels claim to seize border post  Opposition fighters say they overran army garrison that defends the country’s main southern border crossing into Jordan.

‘Phoenix jihadist’s’ dad claims son worked in Syria for CIA  As US Army veteran Eric Harroun awaits trial in Virginia for allegedly fighting alongside al-Qaeda supporters, the man’s father claims he was working for the CIA and was reporting back to the agency from Syria.

US ex-soldier ‘fought in Syria with terror group’  A former US soldier has been charged with using a weapon outside the US as he fought against Syrian government forces, prosecutors say.

Once IT manager in Texas, now top Syrian rebel  Ghassan Hitto once held court as an information technology manager in a safe Texas office. Now he’s halfway across the world, in charge of a corner of hell

U.N. withdraws staffers as violence rages in Syria  The United Nations is withdrawing international staffers from Syria for the time being after shelling near their living quarters, a spokesman said Monday.

Iraq to search more Syria-bound flights  Iraq says it will tighten security searches of flights from Iran to Syria through Iraqi airspace following US pressure.

Syrian rebels ‘seize’ key town near Jordan  Rebels destroy three army checkpoints at the entrances to Dael, the latest town to be captured, UK-based watchdog says.

Syria’s rebels: Entanglement at home and abroad  The rebels are buffeted by internal ructions and regional diplomacy

3/18/13:  Top general urges caution on Syria options, rebels

3/18/13:  Training Syrian Rebels to Conquer Golan Heights and Shoot Down Israeli Aircraft

3/15/13:  Hollande wants EU to lift Syria weapons ban

3/14/13:  Syria crisis: rebel war crimes increasing says Amnesty

3/13/13:  Report details dire plight of Syrian children

3/12/13:  UK hints at bypassing Syria arms embargo

3/8/13:  Syria attacks prevent UN peackeeper rescue

3/6/13:  Syria’s war: Keeping up appearances

1/17/13:  Russia Sends Arms to Syria:  Ships on their Way for Munitions Drop, Reports Say Two Russian ships heading for a naval exercise off Syria this month are picking up munitions to drop at the Syrian port of Tartous, news agencies reported on Thursday.

1/17/13:  Syria:  Proxy War by U.S. and Gulf Monarchies “Syria is descending into hell,” shouted three super hawks in the U.S. Senate: John McCain of Arizona, Joseph L. Lieberman of Connecticut, and Lindsey G. Graham of South Carolina.

1/16/13:  Jihadi Fighters Win Hearts and Minds by Easing Syria’s Bread Crisis Back in November, as fierce fighting raged across Syria, people started to run out of this bread. Government forces were attacking bakeries in rebel-held areas and cutting off electricity so mills couldn’t grind flour. By late last year, Syrians were desperate.

1/9/13:  Terrorist group fills power vacuum among Syria rebels In the midst of the struggle against Bashar al-Assad’s government stands Jabhat al-Nusra, recently designated by the U.S. State Department as a foreign terrorist organization.

1/7/13:  Stop war in Syria before it becomes “field of ruins”: Pope Pope Benedict urged the world on Monday to end what he called the endless slaughter in Syria before the entire country becomes a “a field of ruins”.

1/2/13:  After Assad, is strict Islamic rule ahead for Syria? The voice of Islamist groups is growing louder in Syria as a number of Syrians in the battleground province of Aleppo are expressing increasing interest in establishing a government that leans toward a strict Islamic state.

1/2/13:  Free Syrian Army claims it can make chemical weapons A prominent member of the Free Syrian Army claims the rebels have all the components to produce chemical weapons and have the know-how to put them together and use if necessary.  “If we ever use them, we will only hit the regime’s bases and centers,” the political adviser of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), Bassam Al-Dada, was quoted by Turkey’s state-run Anatolia news agency.

12/30/12:  In Syria, what’s left behind? The young Syrian rebel fighter kicked in the locked apartment doors with ease. Some yielded after two or three firm blows. Others required a bit more effort, but all eventually surrendered.

12/27/12:  War looters threaten Syria’s heritage In the destructive chaos of the civil war, Syria’s archaeological heritage is disappearing piece by piece across its borders as smuggling of looted antiquities accelerates.

12/25/12:  Israel: No proof chemical weapon was used in Syria JERUSALEM – Israel voiced doubt on Tuesday about claims that chemical weapons had been used against rebels fighting to topple President Bashar Assad.

12/24/12:  Syria activists: Several die after Assad’s forces use ‘poisonous gases’ Several Syrians have died after inhaling poisonous gas released by government forces in rebel-held districts of Homs, local eyewitnesses and activists claimed Monday.

12/14/12:  U.S. troops will man Patriot batteries along Turkey’s border with Syria

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey — The United States authorized on Friday the deployment of 400 troops to man two Patriot missile-defense batteries along Turkey’s border with Syria, a move that could put American troops near the front lines of the Arab country’s escalating civil war.

11/23/12:  Not all Syrians side with the rebels The German weekly newspaper Die Welt published a note by the BND – the German secret service – estimating that 95 percent of the rebels occupying the city came from Turkish rear bases where Islam fighters from all over the world gather before going to war.

11/14/12:  U.S. welcomes Syrian opposition; pledges more aid The United States announced an extra $30 million in aid to those affected by the war in Syria on Wednesday and called the formation of a new opposition coalition an important step that would help Washington better target its help.

11/12/12:  Israel makes “direct hits” on Syria Israel has fired “direct hits” at Syrian military targets in response to another round of mortar fire that landed in the occupied Golan Heights.

11/7/12:  Syria UN envoy warns country could turn into Somalia as world struggles for viable options The U.N.-Arab League envoy for Syria warned Tuesday that the country could become another Somalia — where al-Qaida-linked militants and warlords battled for decades after the ouster of a dictator — if the civil war is not ended soon.

11/1/12:  China Presents Plan to End Syrian Conflict A new proposal to end the conflict in Syria was presented on Thursday by China, one of the Syrian government’s few foreign defenders, which calls for a phased-in truce, the establishment of a transitional authority and an intensified international response to the humanitarian crisis afflicting millions of Syrians.

10/30/12:  Syria rebels clash with Palestinians as envoy due in China DAMASCUS: Clashes erupted between Syrian rebels and troops backed by Palestinian fighters near Damascus Tuesday as the UN-Arab League peace envoy was due in China in a bid to revive struggling efforts to halt the violence.

10/22/12:  Kofi Annan on Syria:  Military intervention “will make the sutiation much worse;” Rep. Ryan “dead wrong” Former Secretary-General of the United Nations and former United Nations-Arab League Joint Special Representative for Syria, Kofi Annan, spoke with CNN’sFareed Zakaria about the civil war inside Syria.  Annan states the reasons why he feels that military intervention will not work in Syria, and he comments on why he feels Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the GOP nominee for vice president of the United States, is “dead wrong” for urging military intervention in Syria.  The transcript of these remarks is below:

10/17/12:  Vatican to Send Delegation to Syria The Vatican said Wednesday that it would send a high-profile delegation to Syria, including Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, to encourage a political solution to the war there.

10/16/12:  US troops operating in Jordan near Syria border US troops are operating in Jordan near the Syrian border in the biggest fixed deployment of American force in the region since the end of operations in Libya last year, officials have confirmed.

10/15/12:  Rebel Arms Flow Is Said to Benefit Jihadists in Syria WASHINGTON — Most of the arms shipped at the behest of Saudi Arabia and Qatar to supply Syrian rebel groups fighting the government of Bashar al-Assad are going to hard-line Islamic jihadists, and not the more secular opposition groups that the West wants to bolster, according to American officials and Middle Eastern diplomats.